Hard Drives & SSDs: Slow Performance - External Drives

Created on: May 8, 2013
Last updated: August 25, 2015

There are many potential causes of slow transfer speeds between your external drive and your Mac or PC. While we cannot cover all of them in this article, here are a few tips that can help you to identify or eliminate the possibility of the more common causes.

• Mac OS X Spotlight – occasionally Spotlight's index will become corrupted on an external drive. This can cause Spotlight's background processes to run constantly when trying to access the data on your drive or when trying to write to the drive. One potential solution to this issue is to use a freeware utility called Maintenance, which has a simple one-click setting to rebuild your Spotlight indeces. Disclaimer: use of any third party OS X utilities or 3rd party web site content is strictly at your discretion. 

• Faulty cable or connection – occasionally the actual data cable itself that connects your drive to your Mac or PC, can go bad over time. Try a different cable and see if the performance of your drive improves.

• Background processes – do you have any data-intensive processes running in the background (such as video rendering or large file transfers between other drives connected to your system)?

If you're still having performance issues after evaluating these areas, please contact Technical Support.